I have long been writing to stick with local, cage-free chicken and eggs. And do not buy into eggs frequently labeled free range, when under close scrutiny the labeling is false. Now the U.S. government is going to allow processed chicken from that bastion of cleanliness China into the U.S. without labeling to indicate the source. Here NPR lays out the whole grizzly story. Stick with my #1 health security rule SHOP LOCAL and you will be on the right course to healthy eating.
Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
For starters, just four Chinese processing plants will be allowed to export cooked chicken products to the U.S., as first reported by Politico. The plants in question passed USDA inspection in March. Initially, these processors will only be allowed to export chicken products made from birds that were raised in the U.S. and Canada. Because of that, the poultry processors won’t be required to have a USDA inspector on site, as The New York Times notes, adding:
“And because the poultry will be processed, it will not require country-of-origin labeling. Nor will consumers eating chicken noodle soup from a can or chicken nuggets in a fast-food restaurant know if the chicken came from Chinese processing plants.”
That’s a pretty disturbing thought for anyone who’s followed the slew of stories regarding food safety failures in China in recent years. As we’ve previously reported on The Salt, this year alone, thousands of dead pigs turned up in the waters of Shanghai, rat meat was passed off as mutton and — perhaps most disconcerting for U.S. consumers — there was an outbreak of theH7N9 bird flu virus among live fowl in fresh meat markets.